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Economy

Oil prices fall by more than 5 per cent on mounting concerns about global economy

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Oil fell by more than $4 a barrel on Wednesday, with Brent suffering its biggest percentage loss in the first two trading days of the year since 1991, as demand concerns linked to the global economy and rising COVID-19 cases in China crushed crude prices.

Brent futures settled at $77.84 a barrel, falling $4.26, or 5.2%. U.S. crude settled at $72.84 a barrel, shedding $4.09, or 5.3%.

Brent fell by about 9.4%, its greatest two-day loss at the start of the year since January 1991, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

“Crude oil is trading lower on concerns around China COVID-19 and the Fed forcing a global recession … both demand destruction events,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York.

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Data from China showed that while no new coronavirus variant has been found there, the country has under-represented how many people have died in its recent, rapidly spreading outbreak, World Health Organization officials said.

The state of the global economy and central bank rate hikes also weighed on crude prices.

U.S. manufacturing contracted further in December, dropping for a second straight month to 48.4 from 49.0 in November, in the weakest reading since May 2020, the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said.

At the same time, a survey from the U.S. Labor Department showed job openings fell 54,000 to 10.458 million on the last day of November, raising concerns that the Federal Reserve would use the tight labour market as a reason to keep rates higher for longer.

The Chinese government increased export quotas for refined oil products in the first batch for 2023, signalling expectations of poor domestic demand.

Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia could cut prices for its flagship Arab Light crude grade to Asia in February, having been set at a 10-month low for this month, as concern about oversupply continued to cloud the market.

OPEC oil output rose in December, a Reuters survey found on Wednesday, despite an agreement by the wider OPEC+ alliance to cut production targets to support the market.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC)pumped 29 million barrels per day (bpd) last month, the survey found, up 120,000 bpd from November.

U.S. crude oil stockpiles are likely to have risen by 1.2 million barrels last week, with distillate inventories expected to have fallen, a revised Reuters poll showed. [EIA/S]

Industry group American Petroleum Institute is due to release data on U.S. crude inventories later on Wednesday. The Energy Information Administration will release its figures on Thursday morning.

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Economy

Canada's economy slowed down in November, but still eked out growth – CBC.ca

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Business

The Canadian economy grew by 0.1 per cent in November as higher interest rates began to slow spending toward the end of the year.

Service sector expanded even as goods producing industries contracted

Canada’s gross domestic product expanded by 0.1 per cent in November, Statistics Canada reported Tuesday. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

The Canadian economy grew by 0.1 per cent in November as higher interest rates began to slow spending toward the end of the year.

Statistics Canada’s preliminary estimate for December indicates the economy stayed flat, suggesting the economy grew at an annualized rate of 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter.

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The economy grew at an annualized rate of 2.9 per cent in the third quarter.

In November, growth in real domestic product was driven by the public sector, transportation and warehousing and finance and insurance.

Meanwhile, construction, retail and accommodation and food services contracted.

Statistics Canada says economic growth for 2022 was an estimated 3.8 per cent.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nojoud Al Mallees covers economics for The Canadian Press. She’s based in Ottawa.

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Economy

IMF Raises World Economic Outlook for the First Time in a Year – Bloomberg

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IMF Raises World Economic Outlook for the First Time in a Year  Bloomberg

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Canadian economy grew 0.1% in November, likely was unchanged in December – The Globe and Mail

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People shop for produce at the Granville Island Market, in Vancouver, on July 20, 2022.DARRYL DYCK/The Canadian Press

Canada’s economy expanded slightly in November, matching expectations, and likely stalled in December, data showed on Tuesday, broadly in line with the Bank of Canada’s expectations for the economy to flatline during the first half of this year.

November gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.1 per cent in November, Statistics Canada said, and was likely flat in December, according to a preliminary estimate.

“The flash estimate for December suggested that there was little if any growth during the final month of the year. That aligns with our view that the economy is likely stalling,” said Royce Mendes, head of macro strategy at Desjardins.

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In December, gains in the retail, utilities, and public sectors were offset by decreases in sectors including wholesale, finance and insurance, Statscan said.

Annualized gross domestic product likely gained 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter, above the Bank of Canada’s 1.3 per cent forecast. If the flash estimate proves correct, the economy expanded 3.8 per cent in 2022 from the previous year, above the central bank’s 3.6 per cent forecast.

“Today’s data show that the Canadian economy continues to cool, but not as yet shift into reverse, in the face of rising interest rates,” Andrew Grantham, senior economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said in a note.

The Canadian central bank has raised its key interest rate at a record pace of 425 basis points in 10 months to cool the economy and bring inflation down. After the latest rate hike last week, the Bank of Canada said it would likely hold off on further increases.

Last week, the central bank said the economy would stall and could tip into a mild recession during the first half of this year.

“The overriding message is that the economy is just managing to keep its head above water, which squarely fits with the Bank of Canada’s view,” said Doug Porter, chief economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Canada’s service-producing sector grew 0.2 per cent in November, buoyed by a third straight month of gains in transportation and warehousing. The goods-producing sector contracted 0.1 per cent in November, dragged down by declines in the construction and manufacturing industries.

The Canadian dollar was trading 0.2 per cent lower at 1.3405 to the greenback, or 74.60 U.S. cents, after clawing back some of its earlier decline.

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